Estimated reading time: 2 mins
Buying a used car can really make your money go further. As soon as a new car is taken off the road, its value drops quite dramatically; after just one year, a new car may have lost 40% of its original value. So, in theory, buying a used car makes good sense. However, it can also be risky if you jump into a purchase without doing your research. Here are five ways to help you to ensure the price of your prospective used car is fair, and that you don’t have any nasty surprises in the future.
Vehicle Condition and Cleanliness
You may be forgiven for overlooking the cleanliness and state of the bodywork of a used car. After all, it’s just a facade isn’t it? Well not quite. The physical appearance of a vehicle is a strong indicator of how well it has been looked after and maintained. People who take pride in a car’s bodywork and interior are more likely to keep the rest of the vehicle well maintained too; a grubby or heavily scratched car may lead you to question how well the engine and other components are looked after.
A simple odometer check can give you a good idea about a car’s previous usage. An average annual mileage of around 13,500 can represent a good rule of thumb. If the mileage is substantially more than this average annual use, the car’s value will depreciate more quickly; if it is substantially less, you may need to question whether the odometer has been tampered with.
You can quickly find an estimated market value for a used car by inputting the make, model and age of a vehicle online. This will give you a reasonable figure to work with and will help you gage whether the price tag is a fair reflection of its current value.
Records and Service History
It is very important to examine the service history of a vehicle. Is it full and accurately filled in? If there are gaps, steer clear. A full service history is a great asset to help preserve the future value of a vehicle, and you may pay over the odds for a used car without one. Car services ensure the vehicle is in good condition, and this regular maintenance can prevent hefty garage bills in the future. You also need to be wary about the history of the vehicle to avoid fraud; is the seller deceiving you?
Buy from a Quality Retailer
The above steps are great general practice for buying a used car. However, you can save yourself the trouble and stress by buying from a trusted online car supermarket like imperial car supermarket. You need to check the individual offer of your chosen retailer, but good retailers offer HPI checks and warranties to give you further peace of mind on your purchase. It’s still a good idea to keep the above tips in mind when making your purchase; a trustworthy website will be transparent with the information you require.
Have you ever made a costly mistake when buying a used car? What did you learn?